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Chris Brogan and Julien Smith were talking about the definition of a Trust Agent this week and how that concept applied to people in the online community.

Trust Agents are basically early adopters and heavy users of emerging social media outlets and other internet tools who take on the most power and influence in their area. He goes on to point out that this is happening to individuals rather than businesses in the internet market.

Their book is about how you can become a “Trust Agent.” Buy it. They know what they are talking about. But this post isn’t about the definition of a trust agent, it’s about what to look for in the sea of green online marketers out there vying to be YOUR trust agent.

This post is about how to choose your Trust Agents.
I’m not here to tell you that Max Gladwell is the greatest or that GreenWombat talks about solar too much; I’m here to tell you the Top 5 Trust Agent attributes that you should look for. 

Here they are:

Top 5 Trust Agent Attributes

1. A Green Trust Agent is on Social Media

You have to be able to find and interact with a trust agent. @Zappos is such a famous Twitter example of accessibility because you can talk directly to the CEO of Zappos. He twitters about his lunch and his business- you trust him. 

2. A Green Trust Agent operates Openly

You have to be able to question a trust agent and get answers. Bottom line.

3. A Green Trust consistently provides Value

A Trust Agent provides value on a daily or weekly basis. Guy Kawasaki is a great example of this. First he creates Alltop, which is awesome. Then he creates MyAlltop; even awesomer. But the thing that makes him a trust agent is that he is consistently contributing value on a day-to-day basis, not just providing great products through his company. Everyday on Twitter @guykawasaki making not only those big strides. Although he does have his critiques see Shawn Collins Guy Kawasaki Keynote at Search Engine Strategies NYC 2009

4. They have an e-Book

I think this is a must. Anyone who wants to be a trust agent in today’s online or marketing world needs to have a solid piece of text that can be sent over email. Have books at Amazon.com and everywhere else, too – great. I want to see your e-Book.

5. Most Importantly: A Green Trust Agent is Green

I look for this as part of my decision-process. As a green online marketer I want to work with other people who have the same vision and values. At the same time, we can’t hold out for people who have all the answers right away. Trust Agents are early adopters by definition, and early adopters run with a good thing when they see it. Trust the vision of an early adopter and hold on to the good that comes of it. We will evolve as a green community step by step.

Let me know what you think?

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